Evelyn Ayala

When Evelyn came to RiseBoro, she had worked only temporary, minimum wage jobs. She left school after 7th grade, and without a high school diploma, her job prospects were limited. Evelyn's first step was GED class. Frustrated with the lack of personalized instruction in previous GED classes, she was surprised to find that the RiseBoro's GED instructor took the time to help her conquer her weakest subject, math, and even set her up with one-on-one tutoring. She was also assigned a Career Counselor, who helped her set smart goals and encouraged her to come to class every day. It was this support system, combined with hard work and commitment, that earned Evelyn a diploma. Despite feeling discouraged when she failed the math portion of the exam on her first try, Evelyn returned for additional tutoring. She took the test again and earned her GED. Acknowledging her efforts, she says, "If you stay focused on your main goal and don't let anyone distract you, you can achieve anything."

Next, Evelyn completed RiseBoro's Career Development Workshop, where she learned how to create a winning resume and ace the interview process. She completed security training and was hired by RiseBoro's employer partner, FJC Security. Today, she works full-time as a security guard in a homeless shelter, a job she loves. "Sometimes people have to work a job they don't like just to live, but I actually feel comfortable in my workplace," she says. In contrast to the jobs she worked before coming to RiseBoro, she explains, "The security field has a lot of positions that you can move into. With security experience, you can become a corrections officer, a police officer, a peace officer, or an armed guard. There are lots of opportunities for advancement."

Evelyn's experience with RiseBoro helped her develop confidence. Her self-assurance shows as she talks about her dreams for the future. She plans to work in Homeland Security, as an armored truck driver, or maybe even as an FBI agent someday.

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